Some friendly Atlanta Braves names of old have been on the move recently, all of whom are looking for a chance to rekindle something that they may have left in their baseball careers.
If there’s one thing certain about Atlanta Braves fans, it’s that they’re extremely knowledgeable about their team’s alumni, infamous or not. Whether that player was Kevan Smith or Chipper Jones, they’re immortalized in the history of the team, and how they end their careers after Atlanta warrants acknowledgment.
In the spirit of such, this article will provide updates on three former Atlanta Braves who have found their new homes away from home in baseball.
Guillermo Heredia joins the KBO
After being non-tendered by the club at the November 18th deadline, Guillermo Heredia has found new life in his career across the pond. After a valiant six-year career in the majors, Heredia has taken the next step towards sword slashing once more with the SSG Landers in South Korea.
Heredia, in his 429-plate-appearance career with the Atlanta Braves, only mustered 79 hits, eight home runs, 34 RBIs, and a meager .207/.294/.352 slash line. He had a 75 wRC+ and 0.8 total fWAR. In no uncertain terms, he was the definition of a fringe player.
However, what Heredia brought to the Braves was more than just baseballing ability – he brought invaluable passion and glue to the clubhouse. This was especially true through the trials and tribulations of the 2021 playoffs.
Hopefully, Guillermo is somewhere polishing his World Series ring before his long flight overseas.
Julio Teheran will fight for a place in the San Diego Padres minor leagues
One of the most popular Atlanta Braves of his time, Julio Teheran was the ace of the Atlanta staff for nearly five years between 2014 and 2019. While he struggled with consistency outside of his all-star form in 2014 and 2016, where he accrued a 2.89 ERA with a 3.4 fWAR and a 3.21 ERA with a 3.0 fWAR respectively, he remained a reliable arm in the rotation.
Julio, who had been with the team since signing as an amateur in 2007, was granted free agency when the Braves declined his option early in the 2019 offseason. Despite eventually signing a one-year, $9 million dollar deal in 2020 with the Angels, who were desperate for starting help, he found himself only accruing 36.1 total innings before being out of Major League Baseball early in the 2021 season due to a shoulder injury
With his 8.92 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 8.30 FIP, and 4.71 BB/9 in that time frame, it was clear that the early-30s Teheran, for whatever reason, simply didn’t have it anymore. With no offers from clubs in 2022, it was beginning to look hopeless, but he managed to sign a deal with the Independent League State Island FerryHawks in April.
After putting together 33 innings of 1.60 ERA, 35-strikeout ball in the Independent League, he was given another chance in the Mexican League, where he accrued a 2.80 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched.
For Teheran, it was finally enough to get him back on the radar of Major League ballclubs. He was signed on November 27th to the San Diego Padres on a minor league deal for 2023. Braves Country will surely be silently rooting for him to make his long-awaited re-debut soon.
Jacob Webb is now the Angel in the bullpen
The story of Jacob Webb thus far hasn’t been the happiest. Once a reliable bullpen arm to the tune of a 2.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched with the Atlanta Braves, the career-minor-league, mid-20s Webb would eventually strike New York Mets hitter Kevin Pillar in the face with a 94 mph fastball on May 17th, 2021, suddenly halting his upward trajectory.
From that moment on, Webb struggled to find his consistency. Understandably, a moment like that can really affect a player’s confidence in their stuff. He put forth a 3.54 ERA with a 9.0 H/9 in the majors after returning from his minor league stint and found himself demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett to begin the 2022 season.
In 2022, Webb put together a 6.06 ERA in 35.2 innings pitched and saw two separate DFAs from both the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. He never featured on a Major League roster.
All hope is not lost for Webb, though. After free agency mercifully put an end to his 2022 season, he signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels, whose GM, Perry Minasian, was the Assistant GM of the Atlanta Braves during Webb’s good years with the ballclub.
It’s possible that Minasian sees something in Webb’s stuff that can ignite the flame of a future reliable reliever.
As a community of fans who understand what these players sacrificed to give the Atlanta Braves the best that they had to offer, we will collectively wish them the best in their future endeavors.